Rolling Stone Magazine vs. Boston Police Department
Rolling Stone Magazine used the picture of alleged surviving Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on their cover to illustrate how our society could produce someone who would do such a thing; even though he had another life with American citizens, who were his friends and people he had a real connection with, who were not terrorists. What the Boston Police Department did when releasing the other photo of Tsarnaev this week, was some kind of bizarre propaganda event, which was slightly disturbing to me, even more so than the Rolling Stone Magazine cover.
If it was normal protocol to release all Boston PD photos, I welcome the transparency, but these were cherry-picked and released outside of the chains of protocol, and the officer attached to releasing the photo has now been suspended according to CBS News.
Nobody in their right mind thinks Tsarnaev is a hero or an icon, nobody. That isn't the intent of the cover on Rolling Stone Magazine, at least if we are to believe their PR machine on why they released the cover; which was to illustrate how a kid could fall through our system and become radicalized. What was the reasoning behind the Boston PD release of the photo, was it to prove this is what really happens to alleged terrorists, not some Dylan-ish styled cover on Rolling Stone?
I think what Rolling Stone Magazine did is capitalistically ethical, but completely inhumane and without common sense, but art is a subjective medium - and Rolling Stone covers are art, whether you care to recognize that fact or not.
The Boston Police Department is not an artistic institution, nor do they have the authority to unleash their artistic endeavors upon the public using public resources (which I assume the camera, photo files, the computer the files sit on, and the photographer used to capture the photos were all state property).
I think most of us have enough morals and common sense to view the Rolling Stone cover as nothing more than sensationalized news porn, and view this as a new low for the publication, and are disappointed by the use of such practices.
For all the folks saying kids don't have those developed reasoning skills to understand the message of the Rolling Stone Magazine cover and story, I would say don't be so sure. Less than 9% of people in prison are in for violent crimes according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, yet we glorify violence, mostly imagined in movies, literature, music, news, art, and video games constantly - kids are exposed to a tremendous amount of violence, but most of us are pacifists, whether we believe in pacifism or not, a cover on Rolling Stone Magazine is not going to change that reality for children across this nation.
Boston Marathon bombing scene
The carnage at the Boston Marathon bombing scene where a blood soaked street and debris is all that's left after the victims of Tamerlan And Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were removed. | Photo: Reuters | Boston, Bombing, Terrorist, Blood, Violence, Tamerlan, Dzhokhar, Tsarnaev,
I think the conversation Rolling Stone was hoping to illicit by using the cover is a much needed conversation to have, they just used poor execution in getting the conversation going.
Yes, there will be people fucked-up for whatever reasons, and they will act out violently on innocent people if our society cannot reach them. Violent terrorism is a horrible reality of life, and something no one deserves to be a victim of, or a witness to. By the sounds of Tsarnaev's friends in their interviews with the press, I don't think our society was far off from capturing the hearts and minds of those two cowards known as the Boston Bombers; and that is where we should focus our efforts on, not on some despicable surveillance and police state, but a cultural and societal beacon, capable of reaching the most vile of our kind before they act out irrationally and violently on innocent people.
I think that was the intent of Rolling Stone Magazine. At least I hope so.